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YOU NEED TO RESIGN AND BE JAILED: NFA Boss Sweets As Land Probe Unearths Corruption And Criminality In The Authority

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Mr. Onyango Gershom (in red tie) after the grilling

A team of National Forestry Authority (NFA) officials led by Mr. Onyango Gershom, the Chairman Board of directors were yesterday grilled by the Commission of Inquiry into land matters over the high level of corruption, abuse of office and criminality in the Authority.

John Bosco Suuza the Deputy lead Counsel of the Commission tasked Onyango to explain how government lost 320 acres of land where Kajjansi Central Forestry reserve was situated to private individuals.

Onyango testified that the Authority legal team told the board that they tried to convince court that the disputed land belongs to NFA. He added that as the board, they had instructed the management of NFA together with the legal department to consult the office of the Attorney General and Solicitor General plus other senior lawyers to see how they can handle the appeal to get back the land but they were overwhelmed by the many cases the Authority has.

He added that they only have two lawyers and four prosecutors from the office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) who are supposed to deal with over 208 cases countrywide.

Onyango’s explanation made Suuza more furious and warned him to stop hiding behind the consulting office of the Attorney General and Solicitor General, he branded the
consultations as bogus. Suuza said that  NFA acted knowingly not to appeal against the judgment until they were out of time.

“Mr Onyango, what you must understand is that all of us here have been around, we know the games you people have been playing to assist the land grabbers to take public land owned by over 40 million of Ugandans,” Suuza said. Suuza revealed that it was Onyango who started the scheme to give away Kajjansi forestry reserve in 2011 when he granted the land to Logic Real Estate Limited allegedly owned by tycoon Ephraim
Ntaganda and Bob Kanabi. He said that Ntaganda used Onyango’s consent letter to convince the by then line Minister Betty Bigombe to write to him a no objection letter which he presented to the land registration and he was given a land title.

Suuza noted that after Ntaganda and others obtain the land title, they subdivided the land and sold it to private individuals who are now building houses on it. He further branded Onyango as an unserious person who doesn’t deserve to chair the NFA board because even before the judgment on Kajjansi was made, he (Onyango) had already prepared the cost to be paid to land grabbers who defeated NFA in Court.  Suuza told Onyango, who was sweating all over that him and the board had put aside Shs1.1bn and when it was taxed it becomes Shs900m plus the Shs200m in general damages.

Onyango who was breathing profusely defended himself that he was not the one who prepared the money to be given to the land grabbers as their costs, but it was Steven Bagonza the Director in charge of Finance who introduced the bill to the board and they approved it.

Commissioner Fred Ruhindi intervened and exposed Onyango as a very complicated person together with his board because after frustrating their case they ran to government lawyers to be rescued from the trouble. He reminded him that when he was
still the Attorney General, they always ran to them on cases which were already lost in Courts of law which gave them sleepless nights. He wondered why NFA an independent body doesn’t appeal immediately but has to wait for some time to elapse so that they can run to to government lawyers for help.

He added that NFA people are working like fraudsters and conniving with land grabbers. He gave an example of when the Commission visited Kajjansi forestry reserve, NFA officials knowingly declined to show them the place where Ntaganda and friends were building. He said that after the Commission investigators learnt that there was a place which they didn’t visit, they went back with the Commissioners and they were besieged by army men for a period of time.

He warned him that the incident showed the Commission that NFA was indeed conniving with powerful people who have access to military men to grab land.

Commissioner George Bagonza tasked Onyango to confirm to the Commission whether it’s true that he is a forester because the way he handled public forests shows otherwise.

He further pinned him for just sitting and watching while forestry land in Bugoma forest in Hoima, Kajjansi, Nonve  and Kimaka were being sold to private. He told him that in developed societies, by tomorrow, Onyango would have tendered in his resignation.

Bagonza was supported by Suuza who noted that whatever Onyango and his board did against the public forests was criminal and if possible, they should be in Luzira or other prison centers. He added that one of the board members made a statement before the commission pining Onyango and other NFA staff for conniving with land grabbers who grabbed forest reserves and recommended that the entire board be disbanded and resolved completely.

Court of appeal justice Catherine Bamugemereire who chaired the Commission noted that once a criminal case is committed, it can’t rot and at any time the suspect can be prosecuted in courts
of law even if the crime changes the name.  NFA is responsible for over 506 central forest reserves sited on 1.8m hectares around the country but much of it is already titled. The commission is still investigating the matter.

 

By Jamil Lutakome

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Shocking Things You Missed At NRM Delegates Conference: Lumumba Woes, How Kifeesi Beat Up Delegates And Stole Their Money, NRM Diehard Balaam Blasts Delegates Who Accused Him Of Giving Them Little, Poor Quality Food…

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Events guru and National Resistance Movement (NRM) diehard Balaam Baruhagare has blasted the party’s delegates who accused him of giving them little and poor-quality food during the national Delegates conference which was recently held at Mandela National stadium.

On Friday night, a number of delegates who gathered at Kololo airstrip to collect their accreditation cards to participate in the party’s delegates conference complained that they were served with little and poor-quality food.

The delegates, especially those who came from the Karamoja region were seen stranded in the line after being told that the food is done.

“In the previous delegates conferences, the organizing team delayed to give us our allowances but the food and drinks were there but with these new Lumumba boys, the likes of Balaam, their service is really poor and the party administration must work on it,” one of the delegates exclusively told this website.

Delegates also accused Special Forces Command (SFC) commandos and ISO operatives who were guarding them at Kololo airstrip of stopping them from getting out of the facility to look for what to eat because Balaam’s food was done.

However, when contacted for comment, Balaam refuted the accusation saying that he was not responsible for food as the delegates claims.

He told the Grapevine that his role was to provide seats and tents not food. He also revealed that the food section was handled by NRM’s treasurer Rose Namayanja and state house officials. Balaam insists that the food providers did their best and all the delegates were served.

“The problem with some of those people complaining is that they wanted to pack food and take it to their villages and after blame us that we gave them poisoned food, because by the time they reach their villages, that food would be rotten,” Balaam said. Balaam condemned the delegates who heckled the party Secretary General (SG) Kasule Lumumba.

He told us that ISO operatives were the ones responsible for the giving out cards and Lumumba’s role was just to sign on them.

“That woman overworked. I am telling you. But as usual, some delegates, especially those from the North came with their agenda of embarrassing her before the president and other dignitaries invited from abroad,” Balaam said. He said that that delegates from North have a thinking that their own son must be in the party SG.

Delegates accussed Lumumba of eating their allowance money claiming that they were supposed to receive Shs.1,000,000million each but they were ordered to sign for Shs. 600,000 which they said was too little. The Grapevine also established that most of the delegates slept on the floor at Kololo airstrip because they received their money between 2-3am on Saturday morning and could not get a place to sleep at that time.

Some delegates made frantic phone calls to their legislators who stay in Kampala and the suburbs to come and pick them so that they can sleep at their residentials. For example, those who came from Rakai slept at Minister Haruna Kasolo’s home. This website also established that delegates who insisted on moving at night with their money especially those from Karamoja who tried to look for accomodation in Nakawa were beaten by ‘kifeesi’ and robbed clean.

Other sources at the NRM secretariat who spoke to the Grapevine on condition of anonymity told us that apart from food and accreditations problems, there other issues which made delegates heckle Lumumba.

“Some claim that since she is not voted by delegates, she does not respect them like previous SG’s like Amama Mbabazi who were voted by delegates and were answerable to the electorate,” one of the NRM delegates told this website.

Other political analysts who spoke to this website cited the Busoga factor in the heckling of Lumumba. The Basoga accuse Lumumba of dumping them the day she took over the office of the SG. They claim that she is now lobbying to return to active politics because she is going to compete in Bugiri Municipality which is currently occupied by JEEMA’s Hajji Asumani Basalirwa.

Other NRM promoters like Kabula county legislator James Kakooza told us that Lumumba is not the first person to be heckled before the chairperson. He cited a number of delegates conferences where Amama Mbabazi was humiliated.

“That’s politics and I don’t see any big thing my sister Lumumba did. Delegates were supposed to receive sh600, 000 but the problem was when they saw NEC members receiving shs1.2m, they thought that they were cheated which was wrong,” Kakooza noted. Ahmed Katerega Musazi, the head of communication at the NRM chairperson’s office said that there were a number of issues which the organizing committee has to ratify to avoid further embarrassments. He said that the organization was poor and many delegates were not happy.

By Alirabaki Ssengooba

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IGP Ochola Should Explain To Ugandans Why Police Is Still Detaining People In Nalufenya Yet He Told The Public After Kayihura Firing That It Was Shut Down – FDC…

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Last week, Besigye (L) was allegedly detained at Nalufenya which Ochola (R) closed

Forum for Democratic Change Party (FDC) deputy spokesperson John Kikonyogo has revealed that the party is planning to sue all the police officers who were involved in the brutal and torture of Ugandans in Jinja and Soroti during the FDC party anniversary celebrations.

While addressing the press today at the party headquarters in Najjanankubi, Kikonyogo said that the party has staged five senior lawyers who will challenge police in courts of law.

“We don’t trust police reports; they keep on twisting reports in their favors. Therefore, as FDC, we have contacted five senior lawyers to stand on behalf of all those victims tortured in Eastern Uganda as we were holding our celebrations,” Kikonyogo said. 

On Monday 20th January 2020, Many FDC supporters and leaders including Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye were intercepted at the new Jinja Nile Bridge, arrested and detained at Nalufenya police.

This created a battle between police and FDC supporters. Some police officers were seen in a recorded video brutally arresting an FDC supporter. Other FDC party leaders including the party president Mr. Oboi Amuriat were also arrested in Soroti and later released. They were accused of holding illegal activities without seeking police authorization from the police force.

However, according to FDC, the party informed police and they were given a green light. They say that they even followed all the terms and condition given to them but what surprised them is being brutally arrested.

Kikonyogo further urged the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Martin Okoth Ochola to explain why Nalufenya police is still open yet he told to the public that the place is closed.

“Ochola shamelessly told Ugandans that he closed Nalufenya police but to our surprise, it is where Besigye was detained from. Should we assume that he said it because he was so excited with the new job or he was orders to say that?” Kikonyogo asked.

By Josephine Kauma

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You Are Very Selfish, You Have Turned Your Brother Into A Commodity, How Can You Start Fundraising For An Extravagant Wedding In The Middle Of The Struggle? Mirundi Blasts Bobi Wine’s Brother Nyanzi…

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The presidential adviser on media Joseph Tamale Mirundi has declared Kyandondo East legislator Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine’s family as the most selfish family in Uganda. Mirundi revealed that most of Kyagulanyi’s family members look at him as a commodity and they are using him to accumulate wealth and achieve their long-term goals.

“I earlier on thought that Bobi Wine will one time be president of this country but he has failed to handle the process of achieving presidency in countries like Uganda. How can you mobilize people to organize a very expensive wedding for your brother in the middle of the struggle? Bobi Wine miscalculated when he attended Fred Nyanzi’s wedding meeting and it has decreased his chances of becoming the next president,” Mirundi said.

The self-claimed media consultant revealed that since day one, when Bobi Wine entered politics, the lives of his family members especially Nyanzi have changed from celebrating birthdays to now organizing historical weddings and they are using their brother’s name to get money. They don’t know that they are sacrificing their brother’s chances of becoming the head of state.

The Kalagala born noted that experienced politicians like president Yoweri Museveni and Kizza Besigye cannot be caught in such traps, he gave an example that during the 1986 rebel struggle, Museveni warned his fighters both in the bush and those who were tasked with mobilising for funds for the struggle not to engage in any expensive activities like weddings and parties because they would demoralize their symphasizers who would think that they are fighting for themselves.

“ He (Nyanzi) has been with that woman for over 15 years why has he decided to officially wed her now?

This is a bad signal to other people in the struggle because it shows them that if they attain power, they will be extravagant,” Mirundi said.

He said that if he was an adviser to Bobi Wine he would have told him to delegate someone to attend Nyanzi’s wedding meeting instead of being there himself.

By Alirabaki Ssengooba

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